Saturday, December 29, 2018

Winter Cardinals

These beautiful little cardinals snuggle up on a snowy branch in this frosty winter landscape.

To create this painting, we first taped a large piece of watercolor paper to our painting board. Then we painted the paper with clear water and added liquid watercolors to create a wash of wintry colors.

While our backgrounds dried, we practiced drawing tree branches and the cardinals. Then we painted in the branches in tempera and added bark and texture with oil pastels.

Next we painted in our little cardinals. We didn't draw them first; we just painted the basic teardrop shape above the branch and the tail below, then filled them in with red tempera. Then we added the facial features, the feet, and the tail feathers.

We dried the paint thoroughly, then we added thick white tempera paint along the tops of the branches to create a layer of fluffy snow. Finally, we dotted the sky with falling snowflakes!

These girls know this painting would have taken a lot longer without our trusty blow driers! 

I just love these cheerful little paintings!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ginger Bag Houses!

We made these awesome Ginger Bag Houses out of lunch bags! 

This was a super-fun S.T.E.A.M. project. It was all about planning, designing, and constructing (that's engineering) and, of course, ART! 

First we selected our elemental designs:  doors, windows, trees, and candies. Then we colored the items, cut them out, and glued them to the lunch bag house. 

Here are our printable house details (pdf) such as windows, doors, chimneys, and roofs. Just print, and choose your favorites! Next, you'll need these printable candies and cookies (pdf) to decorate your Ginger Bag House. Of course, you can draw your own, too. 

We stuffed the bag with newspaper and stapled the roof to the top.  Finally, we added thick white tempera paint for the look of icing or snow.

Ginger Bag Houses are even more fun to make with your grandma!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Home-School Christmas

Our Home School ART Club made beautiful tooled foil birds. 

These can be hung as Christmas tree ornaments or several could be hung on a mobile. 

A bird template was printed for each artist and traced with a pointed wood tool to a sheet of heavy-gauge tooling foil. The project was first placed on a piece of felt to provide a bit of cushion for the tooling process. 

The artists then tooled patterns within each section to resemble feathers and/or artistic textures as desired. They flipped the foil from the silver to the gold side as they worked to create 3-dimensional textures and patterns.

After the tooling was completed, they could choose to leave them as is, or to add color.  

Sharpies preserved the shiny surface and worked well as long as the artists was patient and didn't press too hard (which might damage the tooling).

Craft (acrylic) paint filled in the spaces more easily. The paint dried to a mat finish over which additional patterns could added.

(Note: The 3-D bird can be painted after assembly as another option.)

Once completed (tooled and colored or not), the bird parts are carefully cut out and assembled. The wings and tail are crimped to the body and stapled in place. Then we punched a hole on top of the wings and strung a wire hanger through it. 

We found that adjusting the wings helped to balance our birds.

Thank you to United Art and Education for this great project idea.

Home school art club members have plenty of open studio time as well. They work on all sorts of self-directed projects during this time, such as Joseph's mixed media painting, The Three Kings, shown below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Handmade Tree Ornaments

We made these beautiful tree ornaments!

We crafted Christmas button trees, made wood-cookie Rudolf ornaments, and painted natural wood animal shapes

Most of all, we had fun!

Here's what we used to make button tree ornaments - plus a little hot glue around the outer edges to hold the felt front and back pieces together.

Rudolf was made from wood cookies, twigs, fun foam, googly eyes, shiny pompoms, and glue.

Here is a basket of wooden animal, insect, and bird shapes ready to paint.


We used craft paint for the shapes and maybe a little glitter. (Or a lot of glitter.)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Cute Christmas Cards!

We made these cute 3-D Christmas cards!

They're kind of like pop-up cards -  only BETTER! The kids really enjoyed making these. Instead of following step-by-step pop-up instructions, they could design the characters and decide for themselves how to add one or more 3-D elements.

Using only construction paper, scissors, glue, and markers, our artists constructed their characters and added details. 

Sometimes lots and lots of details!

Then they glued their characters to the front of their cards and added additional elements like real twigs, pompoms, and bent or folded arms or legs.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Paint-a-Cat Workshop

We painted cats!

At this special painting party, these young artists painted cats. They worked either from photos of cats chosen from our large resource picture file, or from their own photo of a special kitty.

First the artists received basic how-to-sketch-a-cat instructions, starting with observing the cat's position and sketching its basic body and head shape, then adding smaller details such as ears, eyes, paws, and tail.

They then painted in the background color(s), and then the basic colors of the cat's fur were added. 

Details were added, such as facial features and patterns in the fur. Using a dry brush technique and a bristle brush, the texture of the fur was then painted over the first layer of color.

Once finished, the artist stood back to observe the painting and decide how to tweak and finish the artwork.

These beautiful 9" x 12" paintings were completed in just over two hours. 

Pretty impressive!